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World Civic Heraldry Guide: coats of arms and flags of cities, regions, states

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Edinburgh (Scotland), coat of arms

Edinburgh (Scotland), coat of arms

The shield is blazoned as "Argent, a castle triple-towered and embattled Sable, masoned of the First and topped with three fans Gules, windows and portcullis shut of the Last, situate on a rock Proper." In other words - the shield is silver or white, and the castle is black stonework with white joints. It must be shown with three towers each surmounted by a red flag and must have two or more windows and an entrance coloured red, with a portcullis shown lowered. It stands upon a rock of stony colours. (The castle has long been a symbol for Edinburgh, the Castle Rock having been fortified since Neolithic times.) Above the shield is a coronet, appropriate to the statutory Council of a city. The crest probably derives from the office of Admiral of the Forth, held by the Lord Provost - "an anchor tethered about with a cable all Proper (that is, in natural colours) set of a wreath of the colours." This wreath or torse represents cloth coloured in the city’s livery, silver on one side and black on the other and twisted so as to show three twists of each colour. Above the anchor is the motto ‘NISI DOMINUS FRUSTRA’ associated with Edinburgh since 1647. The interpretation is ‘Except the Lord in Vain’ and is a normal heraldic contraction of a verse from the 127th Psalm. Two figures or ‘supporters’ flank the shield. On the ‘dexter’ (the viewer’s left) is the figure of a young woman with long hair and richly dressed. On the ‘sinister’ (the viewer’s right) stand a doe.
(The City Of Edinburgh Council, www.edinburgh.gov.uk)

adopted (dd.mm.yyyy):  - 

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